Historical Temples in Bangalore

Temples in Bangalore

Historical temples of Bengaluru

Begur Naganatheshwara Temple

Bgur Naganatheshwara TempleAbout 1300 years old, this temple is in Begur village, off Hosur Road, near Electronic City. The temple was built by Kulatunga Raja I of Chola Dynasty, and Rajasimhanandi of Talakad Ganga Dynasty. A 9th century inscription was found here with the earliest reference to the name Bengaluru. This temple also known as Panchalingeshwara temple, has 5 lingas: Sri Nageshwara, Choleshwara, Kali Kamateshwara, Nagareshwara and Karaneshwara. There is a Dakshina Kali ( Parvathi) shrine. A unique feature of this temple is the idol of Surya Murthy ( Sun) facing west. On the eve of Shivaratri devotees perform pujas and stay awake the whole night. In the month of April is a car festival visited by many people.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

Gavi Gangadhareshwara TempleThis 9th century monolithic Shiva temple, inside a cave in Gavipuram ( off Bull Temple Road), was renovated by Kempe Gowda in the 16th century in gratitude for being released from his five-year incarceration by Rama Raya. Monolithic pillars of the Surya Pana ( Sun), Chandra Pana ( Moon), Damuru ( drum) and Trishul ( trident) are in the court yard. Unique to this temple is the rare idol of Agni ( Fire God) with 2 heads, 7 hands and 3 legs. The 2 main shrines are dedicated to Lord Gangadhareshwara and Goddess Honnadevi. Crowds throng the temple during Makara Sankranti on 14th or 15th of January to witness the rare phenomenon of the Sun's rays passing through the horns of the Nandi ( bull) thereby illuminating the Shivaling inside the shrine, for an hour between 5 pm - 6 pm. The monolithic structures in what was once a vast open courtyard were used to mark the summer and winter solstices which were significant astronomical events. Repeated extensions of the temple and the growth of vegetation and development around the site have now destroyed the purpose by blocking the shadow formation during solstices. This is a classic example of a heritage lost to unmindful renovation.

Halasuru Someshwara Temple

Ulsoor Someshwara TempleThis temple was built by the Hoysalas between the 12th and 13th centuries in Ulsoor. It was renovated and beautified by the Kempe Gowda I and II in the 16th century and is a mixture of Hoysala, Chola and Vijayanagara architecture. Shiva being the main deity, Vishnu and Brahma are also worshipped over here. The other deities housed here are Kamakshamma, Arunachaleswara, Bhimeswara, Nanjundeswara and Panchalingeswara. The elaborately carved pillars are said to produce sounds of musical instruments when tapped. In April 2010, an old Kalyani ( pond) was excavated near this temple. Maha Shivratri, Brahmotsava and Kamakshamma Pallaki Utsav ( palanquin festival) are the 3 main annual festivals celebrated here.

Dharmarayaswamy Temple

Dharmaraya Swamy TempleThis temple older than 800 years, located in the City Market, is believed to be built by the Ganga Dynasty kings. It is dedicated to the 5 Pandavas and Krishna. Architecture of the garbhagruha is of Ganga style, the vimana gopura is of Pallava style and that of the mukha mantapa in Vijayanagar style. The 4 towers of Kempe Gowda are found to geometrically intersect in the Vimana Gopura Kalasa of this temple. The annual Karaga festival performed by the Veera Kumaras of the Thigala community with elaborate rituals, is a crowd pulling event in Bangalore. Alagu Sevai is a popular ritual, where the Veera Kumaras strike their bare chests with swords.

Kote Prasanna Venkataramana Swamy Temple

Kote Venkataramanaswamy TempleThis picturesque temple, located in K.R.Road adjacent to Tipu Sultan's Summer palace, was built in the 17th century around the period of Chickadevaraya Wodeyar, the ruler of Mysore, who had leased the city of Bengaluru from the Mughal empire. The prefix Kote ( fort) is due to its proximity to the Tipu's Fort which once enclosed his summer palace. Venkataramana ( Vishnu), is the main deity. The architecture is of Dravidian style. The flowery stone pillars which are supported by lion brackets have imprints of the cannon balls which struck during the Third Anglo Mysore war, when the British forces captured Tipu's Fort and Palace. The temple attracts a large number of devotees on Vaikunta Ekadashi, the most auspicious day for Vaishnavites.